Health Care,  Body System

When It Is Too Late For An Abortion?

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The answer to your query is very dependent on where you reside. Varying states have different regulations about how late in a pregnancy an abortion can be obtained. The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health facility can assist you with determining how state laws affect you.

You can only receive a pharmaceutical abortion (commonly known as the abortion pill) if you’re fewer than nine weeks pregnant, regardless of where you reside. If you are more than nine weeks pregnant, you must have an in-clinic abortion.

How Early Can an Abortion Be Performed?

Abortions are classified into two types: medical and surgical/in-clinic. According to Planned Parenthood, medical abortions (such as the abortion pill) are legal throughout the first 11 weeks of pregnancy.

And, if you don’t go that way, when can you obtain an abortion? According to Planned Parenthood, surgical abortions can be performed during the first or second trimester and include techniques such as aspiration (used up to 16 weeks after your last period) and dilation and evacuation (typically used if it’s been 16 weeks or more since your previous period).

Aspiration is a gentle suction (manual or mechanical) through a tube that passes through the cervix and empties the uterus. Entering the uterus through the cervix and removing tissue from the uterine lining with a scoop-like surgical device is what dilation and evacuation entail. While these abortions are referred to as “surgical,” there are no incisions and the procedure takes approximately 10 minutes, according to Debra Stulberg, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago.

How Late Can an Abortion Be Performed?

During the first and second trimesters, you have various alternatives, but late-term abortions — those performed around the end of the second and beginning of the third trimester — are banned in most states.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, one state, Virginia, presently prohibits abortions in the third trimester, while 17 states prohibit them at 20 weeks post-fertilization (or around 22 weeks after the last period, toward the end of the second trimester). Abortion is deemed “late-term” and prohibited in 20 additional states if the fetus is “viable,” which indicates it can live outside the womb.

If you’re curious about how long into a pregnancy you can get an abortion in your state, check out the Guttmacher Institute’s state policy record to see where your state’s laws fall. (And, because so many states limit abortion, an increasing number of women are attempting to do it themselves.) Not at all.)

According to the Guttmacher Institute, “viability” can range from 24 to 28 weeks following the start of a woman’s last menstruation under the legal norm. Currently, states may restrict abortion after fetal viability; however, exceptions may be established if the woman’s physician determines that the pregnancy endangers her mental or physical health. Whether a fetus is “viable,” and whether the surgery is medically required.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion is decided on an individual basis and by the patient’s physician (for example, if the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life or health).

States may now restrict abortion after fetal viability, with exceptions for the woman’s life and mental and physical health. According to the Guttmacher Institute, whether or not a fetus is “viable” and if the operation is medically required (e.g. if the pregnancy is endangering the mother’s life or health) is assessed on an individual basis and by the patient’s physician.


Abortion Has a Legal Time Restriction

Abortion may be conducted until the foetus is viable outside of the mother’s body. This is 24 weeks under the Criminal Code. In practice, doctors use a two-week margin of error and a 22-week time limit.

Abortion After the Fact

After the 24th week, a doctor may only terminate the pregnancy for significant medical reasons, such as the foetus’s inability to survive outside the mother’s body. In such instances, the doctor must follow the due care standards (only in Dutch) for late pregnancy abortion.

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